Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. Psalm 29:2
This beautiful boy has greatly enriched our homestead. He comes from an extremely loving, natural- rearing focused home (Thank you, Miss Alison) and he has amazingly soft, silky (not cottony) and dense fiber! That excellent start on life makes him especially easy to care for...He can consume vast amounts of greens happily, with only positive effects and is always full of energy! He is the first we've found from another home with this vigor and fiber and he confirms why we strive to raise ours the same. It also shows why smaller numbers can mean more attentiveness to care and higher quality fiber. This continues to be a month of affirmations and support to further hone the focus of our homestead and we're pleased to share such a beautiful example!
Lil Miss has a couple of beautiful angora crosses she's willing to offer, for an excellent price, to the right homes.
Both females, these ladies are well mannered and offer the softest fiber blend of breeds.
If you'd like to learn more, leave a comment below (double check your email address) and we'll get back with you!
This weekend we met so many more wonderful fiber enthusiasts; several just beginning the adventure of raising angoras for their gorgeous, warm fiber. We had some of our angoras with us to share and many were surprised to learn we don't feed them the typical pellets found in the feed store - especially after seeing their fiber quality and robust health.
Happy, Healthy, Snuggly Rabbits!
Look for all of the Blue highlighted* areas of today's text, they will link you to further areas of study....
We've had questions regarding accessories for angora care. Today, while grooming 'Coal' we thought it would be great to show what we use!
First we'll introduce 'Coal', he is a beautiful English Angora with a lot to offer. His coat is dense, fine fibered and he joined our rabbitry from a very colorful litter in northern Washington where his Dad took top local awards. He's fathered his first litter and we hope to have a colorful result.
In our previous post we mentioned Lil Miss' German/Satin/English Angora "Honey" that she retained for her fantastic fiber, and we thought we ought to show you this bunny! Taking advantage of some excellent lighting we set up a little photo shoot with her today. It was sunny and beautiful so we set up the fan, turned on some music and let her get comfortable with the camera....this is what we captured!
Practice makes perfect....she'll get there.
In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.
Our primary goal is to raise happy, healthy rabbits abundantly producing the finest angora fiber that can be worn next-to-skin without the prickle associated with commercial (most often German) angora. Born May 6th, these beautiful angoras, from Lil Miss' German/Satin Angora, offer you the best of our desired traits. From Silver's healthy litter of 9, these rabbits are a wonderful blend of English, Satin and German angora offering high density of fine fiber on medium bodies that will not require the intense grooming of an English, nor the loads of feed that a German consumes! They'll be ready for new homes July 1st and there are several colors to choose from; fawn, torte, chestnut agouti, chinchilla, ermine, pearl... Consider all the potential for naturally beautiful garments and accessories!
We have a doe from another litter of the same breed crossing and now that she is wearing her senior coat, her density and softness surpass that of her dad - an English Angora. Her color depth and length of fiber is also better ~ she is a fantastic example of what you want to spin and wear and we're glad to offer you the same!
Look for Honey's photo shoot above.
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
A few days of sun and intermittent rain make an interesting opportunity for rabbit fun time. Just when we think they'll have some time to work their legs and nibble amongst the herbal variety, a down pour sneaks up and we're running to get everyone back under cover. The favorite hiding spot is the 'Tree House'. Flanked by native berry leaves they can nibble, they love to crawl in, around, and all over this unique living root structure. It's fun to watch them literally play 'Hide and Seek' then take off like a dart down a walking row between the beds.
While some are running and sunning, other are being groomed - brushed, blown out and combed. It's important to use the blower because it helps move out extra dander than can accumulate and keeps their skin breathing better. It's a much used tool in the show scene because you can really bring out the beauty, sheen and fullness in those angora coats! As we're grooming, we typically include a bit of massage to enhance circulation and it's most often welcomed and appreciated as they sit happily.
We spent a lot of time trying to cover the entire perimeter fencing with rabbit proof borders. We tested and retested it and had to close many holes they find so easily! Remember those scent trails I told you about? They are effective and it's fun to watch them go back to a spot, only to realize it no longer leads to 'the outside world', guarded by the "Big Red Dog'.
Yes, those trails are still quickly found even after much rain. We've had some heavy winds and rain that ripped the plastic off our hoop house three times now and the extra rain has certainly made it harder for things to grow even in our raised beds. Seeds planted a month ago aren't doing nearly as well as last year...but we'll just be replanting through the next couple of months.
And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. Isaiah 58:11
Today we were able to circulate a number of rabbits through the 'Fun Run' today. Nutmeg and Sampson were hilarious to watch. You'd think Nutmeg, who is much larger, was trying to dominate Sampson and chase him away, over and over...only to find that once they wore themselves out, they'd flop down together under the shade of a comfrey plant.
We even brought out some little ones that had just begun nibbling their mom's greens while in their house. Lil Farmer had a lot of fun snuggling with them once they tuckered out. It's a great treat to enjoy so many hopping fiber puffs in the continually growing garden. We're so grateful for springs warmth and growth!
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. Isaiah 61:11
You'll also notice, where we don't have wood chip mulch, we put down used straw or hay from the animals. This has been an additional blessing because any left over whole grains have sprouted and as they run around, they nibble all those nutrient dense sprouts and grasses.
We are having a blast at the Shepherd's Extravaganza in the Washington Spring Fair!
We have met many kindred families and folks encouraged by all the amazing skills on display at each of the colorful booths. The fiber supply and used & new fiber industry items are plentiful and quite the 'eye-candy'.
Every year these gents and gals work hard to put together a fantastic fiber event and they have done more every year. Our last vending presence was FOUR years ago - what growth has continued since then!
You should see the tables and displays of quality used items too. Another vendor found & snagged a set of wool combs for just $20! The same price got another gal a 3 bobbin lazy kate! (In the busy-ness of set up and excitement of chatting with old friends and new - I missed both deals...but what a score for these ladies.) There were several full size and table looms and a couple of spinning wheels, a drum carder, hand carders and even more accessories for weaving and spinning. Just across from these items are several tables of demonstrators using all of these tools and more. We were happy to see and learn from a gal demonstrating Tunisian Crochet. This has been a 'new' (for us) method of crochet we've been recently enjoying.
We doubled the size of our booth this year and it has made room for our Eldest son's chainsaw carvings - a new addition! Our younger children have offered their custom crocheted and knitted accessories plus their all natural, essential oil scented soaps and our daughter's hand poured, naturally scented candles! Our son has his photography on display with his hand made cards that offer a 'Taste of Trickle Creek' as 'Vintage Texts'!
We're so thankful for our wonderful patrons and visitors and if you are taking a look at our website for the first time - know we appreciate you and were pleased to meet you!
If you are looking for anything that has to do with hand spun yarn, fibers or the accoutrements to create it or perhaps you just love to learn by demonstration...you can't miss this event!
It takes a special person to keep it all humming, vendors happy and the 'J' barn appealing to visitors - this year we have Linda of Sunset Fibers to thank. She has also volunteered to share her great pleasure in the quality of our angora fiber. She was the first person to share with us, years ago, that she could - only with our fibers- finally spin up and enjoy angora again. For too many years the fiber had irritated her so much, she couldn't use it! The special care taken in our rabbits' diet and lifestyle make a difference in the quality and even lessen the allergic reactions - Linda's happy to tell you! Feel free to ask when you check out her beautiful fiber options.
Here's a picture of our humble booth from our very first public event Four years ago....Look for the new booth pics...soon!
We harvested over 4 ounces of primarily 7" long, scrumptiously soft fiber that more than filled a gallon sized freezer bag. That's not all of his fiber (it was his 'saddle') but it gives you an idea of how wonderful the fiber from one rabbit can be! With one rabbit you can actually make a sweater from the year's harvest. You can do more than that if you add another rabbit so you have a pair to bond and romp with each other, as they are happier with family.
There is a reason some have called angoras
'Apartment Sheep'. Many have litterbox trained them to keep as the perfect, quiet, indoor fiber pet.
This is our journey.